Data Driven Values and the Assessors Who Ignore Them

Assessing property value is an art form. No one denies that. In theory, you start with market data, apply your experience and logic, and arrive at a fair assessment. But theory is not practice. Despite the job description to let data demonstrate the value, we have found the opposite happening.

Over and over again.

In court case after court case, we find that assessors cannot rationally explain the values they assigned properties. It seems as if they just look at who owns the property (for example, a big box retailer) and figure best to ask the most and forgive the lowest. For a while this probably wasn’t an issue – large corporations just forked over the money, and smaller businesses couldn’t afford the overhead of lawsuits. Can’t fight city hall, right?

WRONG.

Welcome to the computer age. We’ve got a not-so-secret weapon against these kinds of tactics: USAPTA’s Pinpoint Property Tax Finder. This software allows one to see how property values stack up against each other. And in case after case, this database reveals questionable behavior by people involved in the process, from Selectmen to Commissioners.

Here’s what happens: we review the data and find inconsistencies in valuations. We notify the county, but they don’t do anything. Once we take them to court and win, the retribution begins. Suddenly, nobody wants to even consider settling with us. So, we sue again, and in discovery, all manner of irrelevant information is requested.

The goal of all this mitigation is NOT to punish assessors or cause conflict. It’s to get a fair property assessment from the taxation body. Large corporations are just as important to local economies as small businesses, if not more so. They want a fair shake – it’s their right.

Robert Hill Law, Ltd uses the services of USAPTA as consultants and expert witnesses to identify true market value, and ultimately win for their clients. Read this supporting affidavit that makes the case.

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Introducing the Pinpoint Property Tax Finder

Revolutionary new software determines if you are getting a raw deal

By Michael Wedl

You know that feeling. The pit in your stomach each year when the tax assessments go out. How much is it going to be this time? Can we afford it? How do you know if what you pay is fair and equitable to what similar businesses, or even your commercial neighbors, pay? It’s a tough question to answer. There are a lot of variables involved with finding out and lots of data to really understand how your property compares to others.

How to get all that information though? The prospect of it can be discouraging. You’d need to sort through dozens of county records, compile spreadsheets, crunch numbers, probably a whole lot more. It’s a daunting task and maybe it’s supposed to be. USA Property Tax Associates hopes to change that with their revolutionary new software, Pinpoint Property Tax Finder.

This web-based software will be available in late 2017 and it promises to turn the tables on tax assessors. By compiling county records into a single database, users can see how other similar properties in their county, state, or even nationwide have been assessed. You can get the exact information you’re looking for with great features like the ability to filter results by size, average dollar per square foot, and many others, giving you everything you need to challenge the equitability of you assessment in court.

A sample graph produced by the Pinpoint Property Tax Finder.

Robert Hill Law, Ltd has already used this software to save clients’ money. In one successful challenge, Robert Hill was able to get an initial assessment of roughly $200 per square foot down to a much more reasonable $125 per square foot. During the Board of Review hearing, one of the commissioners actually held up a report generated by the Pinpoint Property Tax Finder and said that the proof was undeniable. It was all there in black and white. The property was “clearly being overvalued” compared to neighboring like kind properties.

For tax law professionals like Robert Hill, having this arrow in their quiver has been a game changer. The software is very user-friendly and simple to access. Once you are setup with your username and password, all you need to do is log in. From there, you can create and manage different cases. Simply choose a county or address, filter the results down by property type or property size and voila! Instantly see how your assessment stacks up to other properties in your area.

Sure, the county might say that they trust their assessors. They might even say that your property is the exception to the rule, and it’s so special that it deserves to be valued so high. Not anymore. With Pinpoint Property Tax Finder, you can easily debunk that notion. Once you have your case set up, you can compile all that data into an easy to manage chart and graph.

Technology is amazing. 30 years ago to find out all this information you’d have to spend hours going over paper records by hand, manually entering all the data. Now, with just a few simple clicks, you can arm yourself with an incredibly powerful tool. Don’t work harder. Work smarter, with Pinpoint Tax Finder from USA Property Tax Associates.

Michael Wedl is President & CEO of USA Property Tax Associates and a prominent Minnesota property tax professional. He has held senior positions at Paradigm Tax Group and Hart Property as well as assessment & valuation positions in county government. Considered a property tax subject-matter-expert, Mr. Wedl is often asked to speak at symposiums and participate in roundtable discussions across the Midwest.

To contact Mr. Wedl for speaking engagements please visit his LinkedIn profile.

The Property Tax “Aha!” Moment for Business Property Owners

By Robert A. Hill, property tax attorney and president, Robert Hill Law, Ltd.

You and your team pay attention to the sale of business properties near to or adjacent to your own properties. You easily find the sale price and likely will calculate the square foot price to compare to your own property’s market valuation.

It’s possible you may have even consider the tax assessor’s valuation of your property, but sat passively in frustration in the fact that the marketplace facts do not mesh with the assessed valuation.

The “Aha!” moment occurs when you hear marketplace stories of property owners or competitors that just saved $5 million in their property taxes. When one bears witness to peers having success that dramatically affects their bottom line year-after-year, curiosity is piqued.

I would suggest to you this: Pay attention to the market of similar properties. Watch for sales of those properties and watch closely those businesses geographically near to your property or very much like the market location of your property. When you see like-property sales that are less than your assessed value per foot, raise that red flag. Understand that good property tax attorneys exist that can quickly drive a compromise that directly affects your bottom line. I welcome your call/email to discuss your property tax red flags. We offer a software solution that simply and quickly can validate your concerns with tangible market facts.

Property Tax Reduction Case Studies:

  • Big Box Home Hardware Retailer – $9 million in savings over three years
  • Big Box Pharmacy Retailer – $2 million in savings over four years
  • Minnesota-based Food Retailer – $3.7 million in savings over three years
  • Well-known Food Brand – $250,000 in annual savings

Author Bio:

Robert “Bob” Hill has, for over three decades, successfully represented major companies in property tax appeals through both negotiations with tax assessors and litigation. His dedication to his clients has helped businesses throughout the United States save tens of millions in property taxes. Mr. Hill has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating of AV-Preeminent for his legal knowledge, communication skills, high ethical standards, and his representation of clients in significant property tax cases.

Now Automated – Property Tax Assessments for Business Property Owners

By Robert A. Hill, property tax attorney and president, Robert Hill Law, Ltd.

Your business property has just been assessed and marketplace knowledge tells you this tax assessment just doesn’t seem right. What to do next?

You need additional facts and you need them quickly. You want a simple means to efficiently find hard facts and determine whether there’s the leverage to save your business hundreds of thousands – or millions – of dollars over the next few years.

We’ve built a proprietary software that offers an unequaled property tax assessment analysis. It’s fast (often completed in minutes), collecting and presenting the facts to prepare a case against the assessor’s valuation. No other property tax firm in the United States has built anything like it.

After a short conversation, we only require a copy of your property tax statement. Results are often tabulated within minutes. To engage our team is simple. Contact us by phone at 952-426-7373, or via our Contact Form. Since we work strictly on a contingency fee basis, there is no risk to you – only the reward that comes from a substantially reduced tax assessment in line with market principles. Put a team of relentless advocates to work for you.

Property Tax Reduction Case Studies:

  • Big Box Home Hardware Retailer – $9 million in savings over three years
  • Big Box Pharmacy Retailer – $2 million in savings over four years
  • Minnesota-based Food Retailer – $3.7 million in savings over three years
  • Well-known Food Brand – $250,000 in annual savings

bobAuthor Bio:

Robert “Bob” Hill has, for over three decades, successfully represented major companies in property tax appeals through both negotiations with tax assessors and litigation. His dedication to his clients has helped businesses throughout the United States save tens of millions in property taxes. Mr. Hill has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating of AV-Preeminent for his legal knowledge, communication skills, high ethical standards, and his representation of clients in significant property tax cases.